Friday, January 20, 2012

Destination: Dude Ranch!

image courtesy of cbenjasuwan/
Looking for something different and fun that combines family time, the great outdoors, animals, history, and adventure?  Then consider a great American Dude Ranch family getaway; with ranches located across the US, there's something for everyone, no matter where you call home!

There's something magical about a dude ranch vacation. To start with, the adventure of horseback riding is a rich experience, whether you're seasoned equestrian or a never-even-seen-a-horse newbie! From trotting along woodsy pine-scented paths, to enjoying a relaxing, gentle ride through an open meadow, or exploring wildlife on a mountain trail, sharing the adventure of a horseback ride with your children is the perfect recipe for family fun. Add abundant fresh air, exposure to nature and animals, exercise disguised as fun, and that rustic country feel and you have an adventure that will create life-long memories for everyone!

Varying by location, Dude Ranches offer a variety of lodging types, from "sleep-away camp" style cabins to resort-style accommodations.  Below are a few of our picks for some of the country's most fantastic family-friendly dude ranches, east or west of the Mississippi:

Pinegrove (Kerhonkson, New York)

Located in picturesque Kerhonkson, New York (just two hours northwest of New York City!), Pinegrove is a beautifully appointed ranch property boasting 126 comfortable guest rooms, each with a private bath. Enjoy fishing, boating, hayrides, campfires and nature walks, spend some time at the pool, play a round of mini golf, challenge your kids to some Lazer Tag, or visit the petting zoo! In addition, they offer three full meals a day, including special kids' menus, an all-day snack bar, cocktail parties and more.  Check their website for some amazing special packages!

Vee Bar Guest Ranch (Laramie, Wyoming)

This 100 year-old landmark has been lovingly restored; its western heritage preserved. The cabins and lodge offer antique furnishings from the Vee Bar's rich and colorful past.  Enjoy horseback riding, hiking, fishing, hayrides, trap shooting, camping, herding cattle, and river tubing! Activities center around western horseback riding and the Vee Bar boasts one of the best horseback riding programs to be found at any guest ranch, with everything from meadow trails to mountain passes. In addition, scenic hiking is just minutes away with several well marked trail systems in the nearby Snowy Range mountains.  Click here for package details!

Rancho De Los Caballeros (Wickenburg, Arizona)

Situated in the flowering Sonoran Desert, Rancho de los Caballeros is a historic ranch resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast.  Explore and relax while the kids enjoy the Caballeros Kids Program (for kids 5-12); counselors meet the children at breakfast, accompany them to the corral for some riding, then take them swimming, hiking, on scavenger hunts, or to do crafts until it is time for lunch. After lunch the children return to enjoy more activities family-style (riding, jeep tours, skeet shooting, or even just fun poolside!). Evenings can be spent fire-side roasting marshmallows or even line dancing!  Great packages await here!

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (Jasper, Arkansas)

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch offers a true western experience with southern hospitality! Boasting rustic log cabins with wide porches, this gem of the Ozarks offers trail rides, zip-lines, boating, swimming, rock climbing, and more! And the fun doesn't end when the sun sets; whether you prefer campfires, moonlight rides, or barn games, visitors will be tempted to stay up just a little longer. Don't miss these great deals!

So saddle up and hit the dusty trail for a family adventure that will create memories that will last a lifetime!  Safe and happy travels, cowpokes!

-Destination Mom


  1. Wow..that's really amazing dude ranch vacations place, they have a lot of activities in their ranches.

  2. Thanks for your comment Fritz Jay Hortelano - and for the link - great resource for information on ranches across the US, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Mexico!

  3. Horseback riding is an unbelievably fun activity when you’re in a ranch. There’s nothing like the feeling of you galloping across a field, feeling the wind in your hair. Well, your list will be a big help for those who want to have their own vacations. I bet that Wyoming dude ranch is the best among the three! :)